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MCHS receives reading grant

Madison County High School has received a grant from best-selling author James Patterson. (CONTRIBUTED)
Madison County High School has received a grant from best-selling author James Patterson. (CONTRIBUTED)

GURLEY – To enhance its library, Madison County High School has received a grant from best-selling author James Patterson.

In addition, Scholastic Reading Club will match each dollar of Patterson’s donation with ‘bonus points’ that teachers can use to acquire books and other materials for their classrooms. Madison County High was selected from more than 28,000 applications for funding grants.

Madison County High librarian Laura Houk is thrilled that their school received the grant. “Alabama school libraries have been under-funded for many years. The efforts of James Patterson and Scholastic are an important reminder that libraries are crucial to student success,” Houk said.

With the grant, the school will update the library collection and buy new computers.

This spring, Patterson and Scholastic announced that he personally would donate $1.5 million to save school libraries nationwide. Grants range from $1,000 to $10,000. Due to high demand for funding, Patterson stated in July that he is donating an additional $250,000 for the cause.

“With nearly half the population currently reading at or below the basic level, the United States is truly in the middle of a crisis,” Patterson said in a release. “I’ve now read over 1,000 letters from school librarians, teachers and parents about the lack of resources at our country’s schools. How will children make it to high school without access to books?”

Agreeing with Patterson, Scholastic Reading Club President Judy Newman said school libraries are desperate for books to fill their shelves. Because of Patterson’s generosity, “many children will be welcomed back to school with the books they need to discover a love of reading,” Newman said.

For more information, visit scholastic.com/pattersonpartnership, mediaroom.scholastic.com/scholasticreadingclub or Twitter #PattersonPledge.

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